He leaned over, slowly, and kissed her. That was one of
the moments when the two persons she seemed to him,
baffiingly, to be were merged into a single identity. He put
his arm around her shoulders, and standing in the unsure
light which the lamp gave, with the table cluttered with the
dirty dishes behind him, beyond the open door of the dining-
room, and with his gaze fixed on the blank wall, he was filled
with a joy and certainty which seemed to him, at the moment,
"Good Lord!" she said suddenly, and stepped back from
his embrace. " Suppose Martha'd come in to get the dishes
and see us."
" Suppose," he repeated, with an inflection that made her
look questioningly at him.
"Well, it would be a pickle," she observed matter-of-
" Sure/' he agreed. " Sure."
" Sure/' she said, " but you don't have to have that expres-
sion on your face," and laughed. " Besides "—and she paused,
and regarded him amusedly—"if you'll get it off, I might
come down to see you tonight. Even if I do freeze to death
" That's not the point," he replied.
"Gratitude"—she gave a mock sigh and shook her head
deprecatorily at an imaginary audience—"gratitude and
chivalry for you."
" That's not what I meant," he said.
He did not know exactly what he had meant. Those two
identities which had seemed to merge at the moment when
he leaned toward her and kissed her were now quite separate.
Again, as before, there were the two people, the one who
made jokes with her father and hummed aimless snatches of
songs and moved about the household occupations with heels
tapping briskly and cheerfully on the expanses of bare board,
and the other one who, tonight, would stand just inside the
shadowy white door, with her finger to her lips, and then
approach his bed. He shook his head.